xt79319s242q https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt79319s242q/data/mets.xml Otis, James, 1848-1912. 1888  books b92-237-31299431 English A.L. Burt, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Runaway brig, or, An accidental cruise  / by James Otis [pseud.]. text Runaway brig, or, An accidental cruise  / by James Otis [pseud.]. 1888 2002 true xt79319s242q section xt79319s242q 


Harry pointed s(e2ward, tward the '.;antlne, moyiug through
              the water slowly.-iSee page '9.


 I  I 4 ,: ,Jl




An Accidental


           BY JAMES OTIS,

                Auieor o/

' The Castaways," " Toby Tyler," " Mr. Stubbs' Brother," " Left Behind,"
       " Raising the Pearl," " Silent Pete," etc., etc.


      NEW YORK:





                CHAPTER I.
              THE SALLY WALKER.

I ' GOING down to the beach to find Jim Libby.
   If you'll come along we'll have a prime sail; an'd
most likely this is the last chance we shall have
to go out with him, for his vessel leaves in the
  "how can 1 go ws hen I've got to mind this young
one all the forenoon just 'cause the nurse must go
an' have a sick headache  I don't believe she feels
half as bad as I do !" And Walter Morse looked
mournfully out over the blue waters with but little
care for his baby sister, who was already toddling
dangerously near the long flight of steps) leading
from the veranda of the large summer hotel.
  "Can't you coax off for a couple of hours " the
first speaker, Harry Vandyne, asked.
  " It's no use. Mother has gone to ride, and said I
was to stay here until she came back."
  Harry started toward the beach, determined not
to lose a single hour of pleasure because of his
friend's engagements; but before he had taken



half al dozen steps a sudden, and what seemed like a
very happy thought, occurred to him.
  "I'll tell you how it can be fixed. Hire one of
the other nurses to take care of your sister till we
get back. Any of them -will do it for a quarter, an'
we'll be home before your mother comes."
  The boys were spending the summer at the Isle
of Shoals, off the New England coast. Harry's
father was Robert Vandyne, the well-known ship-
owner of New York, and Walter's was equally
prominent in the wholesale dry-goods business on
Broadway. During their stay at this summer re-
sort they had made the acquaintance of Jim Libby,
"cook's assistant and evervbody's mate" on the
fishing-schooner -Mary Walker, a craft which visited
the Shoals once each week to supply the hotels with
fresh fish.
  Jim was at liberty to follow the dictates of his
own fancy several hours each slay while in port, and
the bovs found him ever ready to take them out
sailing in the square-bowed, leaky tender be-
longing to the schooner. As Harry had said, this
was Jim s last day on the island until the end of an-
other cruise, and Walter was so eager to blister his
hands and wet his feet once more by rowing the
Sally Walker-the tender was dignified with a
name-around the shore that he really did not stop
to consider all Harry's advice implied.
  He wanted to go on the water; Bessie would have
even better care from one of the nurses than he
could give her; and it was not difficult to convince




himself that, under all the circumstances, he would
be warranted in disobeying the positive commands
of his mother.
  "She didn't know Jim was going away in the
morning, or I'm sure she'd 'a' fixed it so's I could
take one more trip in the Sally."
  " Of course she won't care," Harry said in such a
decided tone that Walter, who was more than will-
ing to be convinced by the most flimsy argument,
made his decision at once.
  "Come on; there's Mrs. Harvey's maid, and we'll
ask her."
  The bribe of twenty-five cents was sufficient to
enlist the good-natured girl's sympathies, and five
minutes later the two boys were running at full speed
toward the shore, while Bessie, apparently well con-
tent with the change of nurses, looke(d so happy
that Walter really began to believe he had (lone the
child such a very great favor that his mother could
not but be pleased.
  The unwieldy-looking Sally Walker was drawn
up in a little cove which, owing to a line of rocks
just outside, made a most convenient landing-place,
and on the bow sat Master Jim, his face striped
with dirt but beaming with good-nature, and his
clothes as ragged as they were redolent of fish.
  "I'd jes' begun to think you couldn't conie. m'a'
was goin' back," lhe cried as his neatly-dressed ac-
quaintances came into view. " If wue wvanter (do
any sailin' it's time to be off, 'cause this wNind's dy in'
out mighty fast."




  "Tt's better late than never, Jim," Harry cried
cheerily as he commenced to push at the bow of the
boat. "Let's get the old craft afloat, and do our
talking afterward."
  To launch the Sally into deep water was quite a
hard task owing to her breadth of beam; but after
that had bteen (lone the labor was ended for a time,
save such as might be necessary with the bailing-
  Jim stepped the short mast with its well-worn leg-
of-mutton sail, got one of the oars aft as a rudder, and
the full-boved clipper began to move through the
water slowly, but with a splashing and a wake suffi-
cient for a craft ten times her size.
  "We can't run along the coast very well 'cause
the wind's blowin' straight out to sea, an' she don't
stand up to it like a narrower boat would," the
skipper said as he settled himself back comfortably
in the stern-sheets while he pulled the fragment of a
straw hat down over his eyes.
  "Let's sail before the wind two or three miles
an(l then row back," Walter suggested. " I'd like
to get to the hotel before mother comes."
  "It'll be a tough pull," Jim replied as he glanced
at the clumsy oars. " I'd rather row the Sally one
mile than two."
  Harry and I will do that part of the work."
  "Then let her go," and as Jim eased off on the
sheet the old craft came around slowly, for she was
by no eians prompt in answering the helm.
  "See that ship over there  How far away is




she " Harry asked as lhe pointed seaward, when the
Sally wvas wvell under way.
  " That ain't a ship," Jim replied with a slight tone
of contempt because his companions were so igno-
rant. "She's a brigantine, an' hard on to three
miles from here."
  " Let's run over to where she is. We can row
back by dinner-time easily enough."
  Since his crew were to do all the work on the
return trip Jim would have been perfectly willing
had the distance been twice as far, and he gave
assent by nodding his head in what he intended
should be a truly nautical manner.
  The brig, which was now the objective point of
the trip, appeared to be a craft of about three hun-
dred tons, and moving through the water slowly,
under the influence of the rapidly-decreasing wind,
on a course at right-angles with the one the Sally
was pursuing. She was running with yards square,
under her upper and lower topsails, foresail, jib and
foretop-mast stay-sail, and the head-sheets were flow-
  " She ain't goin' so fast but what we can come up
with her before the breeze dies away, I reckon, an'
if she's becalmed they won't say anything agin our
goin' aboard," Jim said after a few moments of
silence, during which all hands gazed intently at the
  The idea of visiting a vessel at sea was very enti-
cing to the city boys, and they were now as eager
for a calm as they had previously been to have the



wind freshen. The Sally took in so much water
between her half-calked seams that it was necessary
to keep the bailing-dish in constant use, consequently
there was little time for speculation as to where the
brig was bound until, when they had sailed not
more than a mile and a half, Jim said in a tone of
mild disappointment:
  "It's no use, fellers, we can't get there.  It's
dead calm, an' we ain't makin' a foot an hour."
  "What's to prevent our rowing" Harry asked.
"You take down the sail and keep the bailing (lish
going while Walter and I show you how to make
the Sally walk."
  "I'm willin' if you are," and Jim unshipped the
stumpy mast.   "MA1y vessel won't get unl(ler way
before mornin', an' it makes no difference if I ain't
back till sunrise."
  To make the Sally "walk " required a great deal
of hard work; but since it was under the guise of
play Harry and Walter went at it with a will, whfile
Jim wondered what sport boys could find in pulling
a heavy boat, for this was the one portion of a
fisherman's life at which he rebelled.
  Slowly but surely the little craft gained upon the
larger one, which swung to and fro on the lazy swell,
and when they w-ere about a quarter of a mile apart
Jim said, in a tone of disapprobation:
  "The crew on that brig are worse'n fishermen.
Every one of 'em must be below, for I haven't seen
so much as a feller's noso yet.  Perhaps some of
the crew have gone ashore-the gangway's un-


A1 R UA NlIVA Y D. (

  Unacquainted with nautical matters as the city
boys were, they did not think there was anything
strange in such a condition of affairs, but kept
steadily at work with the oars until Jim scrambled
into the bow to fend off, the journey having been
  "I'll make fast here while you go aboard," he
said as he seized the ladder of rope and wood which
hung over the rail as an invitation to visitors.
  "1 We'd better find out first whether they're will-
ing to have us," Harry suggested.
  "That'll be all right," and Jim spoke very con-
fidently. " If you're afraid I'll go first; but it
seems kinder strange that somebody don't hail us."
  Having made the Sally's painter fast, Jim clam-
bered over the side closely followed by his com-
panions; but not a person could be seen on deck.
The fore hatch was lying bottom upward, and the
appearance of the ropes indicated decided careless-
ness on the part of the crew, yet no sound was heard
save the creaking of the booms as they swung lazily
to and. fro.
  " What's the matter " Harry asked in a whisper
as he noted the look of fear which came over Jim's
  " I'm sure I don't know. Let's see if we can raise
anybody;" and then Jim shouted, " Ahoy below!
ahoy !"
  No reply came. Again and again was the cry re-
peated, until Walter asked, impatiently:
  "Are you afraid to go into the cabin and stir
them up "


12            A RUNA WA Y BRIG.

  Jim would have braved many dangers rather than
be thought a coward, and without answering the
question he leaped down from the rail, running first
into the forecastle and then the cabin, after which
he returned to his companions with a very pale face
as he said, in a tremulous whisper:
  "Boys, there ain't a single soul on this 'ere brig
but ourselves, an' there's a sword on the cabin floor!
Do you s'pose pirates are anywhere around "


                 CHAPTER II.
                 THE BONITA.
H TARRY and Walter remained motionless and
H    speechless on the rail staring at Jim for sev-
eral moments after this startling announcement had
been made, and there was a decided look of fear on
the faces of all three. The mere suggestion of
pirates was enough to send the cold chills down
their spinal columns, while the mystery connected
with the abandonment of an apparently sound craft
caused them to feel very uncomfortable in mind.
  Walter glanced apprehensively over his shoulder
as if expecting to see some terrible sight seaward,
and the slightest ominous sound would have sent the
visitors into the Sally as the only place of refuge.
  It was fully five minutes before Harry succeeded
in gaining the mastery over his fears, and then he
said, with an evident attempt to make his voice
sound firm as he leaped from the rail:
  "Say, boys, we're making fools of ourselves by
getting frightened at an empty ship! Suppose the
pirates have been on board; there are none here
now, and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't
go below."
  "I'm with you," Jim replied; but by taking up



his position at Harry's side he showed very plainly
that it was not his intention to lead the exploring
  " I'll go, too, rather than stay on deck alone; but,
according to my way of thinking, we'd better start
for the Isle of Shoals instead of staying on a vessel
like this." And once more Walter looked over the
rail at the Sally, which was taking in water quite
rapidly now that the bailing-dish was idle.
  Harry and Jim had started toward the cabin be-
fore Walter ceased speaking, therefore he had no
choice save to follow them, and with an undefined
feeling of awe the three went dlown the stairs into
a comfortably but not expensively furnished saloon,
from each side of which led the eight state-rooms.
  To judge l)y the general appearance of affairs one
would have said that the officers had but just gone on
deck. On the long, stationary table were sewing
materials and a woman's work-basket; in one of
the chairs an open book, and on a locker was the
log-slate -swith the reck-oning partially worked out.
  The only suspicious object to be seen was a sword,
which had been withdrawn from its scablbard an(I
thrown on the cabin floor. The blade was covered
with spots which might have been blood-stains or
nothing but rust, and the visitors gathered around the
sinister-looking weapon without offering to touch it.
  "The sword doesn't prove that pirates have been
here," Harry said, after a long silence. "There
couldn't have been much of a fight or we should see
more signs of it. Perhaps somebody is in one of
the state-rooms."




  "It won't take long to find out." And Jim boldly
opened the nearest door, a goodly portion of his
courage having returned since the search thus far
had failed to reveal any very horrible sight.
  In rapid succession the searchers went from one
room to another, stopping at each only long
enough to make sure no person was concealed
therein, and to take a general but hasty survey of
its contents.
  Every tiny apartment showed signs of recent oc-
cupancy. A sea-chest, clothes hanging on the walls,
and such belongings as a sailor would deein neces-
sary for a long voyage, could be seen. In one state-
room was a set of gold studs and sleeve-buttons and
a new quadrant. In another, which Jin confi-
dently asserted wvas the captatin's, a watch hung at
the head of the l)erth, while a small writing-desk
was littered with pal)ers.
  " All hands have gone somewhere, that's certain,"
Jimn said when the search was concluded; "1 an' be-
fore we go ashore it won't do any harm to have
dinner. If the )antry has been left like the cabin,
we stan(1 a good chance of finding plenty of grub."
  "I'm  hungry enoughi. to eat almost anything,"
Harry replied with a laugh. " So if you know
where the food is kept we'll have lunch before be-
ginning the long pull home."
  Jim  was thoroughly well acquainted with the
general arrangemlent of vessels of this size, and
without hesitation lie led tlhe wvay to the pantry,
where was found a large assortment of delicacies
for the cabin table.



  In this room were many boxes and packages
which had not been broken, and as each bore the
mark "Brig Bonita," the name of the craft was
known as well as if the boys had seen the gilt letters
under the stern.
  Just at this time, however, the visitors gave but
little heed to anything connected with the aban-
doned craft save the provisions, and these they
sampled generously, beginning with nuts and end-
ing with jam; each one eating until it was an abso-
lute impossibility to swallow another mouthful.
  During the varied but hearty meal they failed to
notice that the brig had heeled over slightly, or that
there was considerable more motion than when they
first came aboard. The feast drove all thoughts of
the general condition of affairs from their minds
until it was finished, and then Jim said:
  "Now, what's to be done It seems a pity to
leave this craft and all these things; but I don't
s'pose w-e could tow her in to the Shoals."
  Even though harry and Walter knew nothing
about seamanship, they understood how ridiculous it
would be to make any attempt at towing a three-
hundred-ton brig, with a crazy little boat like the
Sally, and their merriment was so great when Jim
made this remark that he thought it necessary to
defend himself by saying:
  "I've seen folks tow bigger vessels than this; an'
I was only thinkin' how fine it would be to take
her in, for since there's nobody aboard we'd own



  "Well, so long as it can't be (lone w-e'd better go
back," Walter said as he suddenly remembered his
neglect of duty an(L the very grave reason why lie
should be at the hotel before his mother returnled.
  Neither Harry nor Jim believed there was any
necessity for making a hurried de1)arture, and fully
half an hour more elapsed before they were ready
to go on deck. Even then they would have delayed
still further had not a violent motion of the vessel
caused Jim to cry, as he sprang toward the com-
  " The wind has freshened, and if we want to get
back to-night it's time we were off !"
  Then, as he gained the deck, fear and surprise
took the place of his suddenly aroused anxiety. The
wind had sprung up and must have done so a long
while before, for now there was no sign of land in
either direction, unless, indeed, a dark smudge far
down to windward might be the island which had
been so close aboard a few hours previous, and the
Bonita was working on a zigzag course seaward.
Owing to the fact that the head-sheets were flowing,
each time she fell off sufficiently to get the wind
abaft the beam she would fill her topsails and
gather way, then come to, stop, and again fall off;
making, as a sailor would say, "boards and half-
  Harry and Walter were so thoroughly amazed
and alarmed by this sudden disappearance of the
land, as it were, that they gave no heed to anything
around them, but stood by the port rail amidships,
searching in vain with their eyes for the island.



  Jim's knowledge of seamanship was decidedly
limited; but he understood fully why the Isle of
Shoals was no longer in sight, and his one thought
was how they could leave the vessel, which was
literally running away with them. Springing to the
main chains where the Sally had been made fast, a
single glance was sufficient to show of what little
service she would be to them just then. Leaking as
she did, and towed now and then at a rapid rate, the
little craft was filled with water, nothing save a
very small portion of the bow upheld by the painter
being visible.
  Hardly knowing what he did, the young fisher-
man ran fore and aft in a distracted way until
Harry, aroused from his stupefaction by Jim's
apparently aimless movements, asked in a sharp tone
of nervous irritation:
  " What are you doing Are we to stay here
without trying to get back "
  " I wish you would tell me what we can do ;" and
Jim stopped short as he plunged his hands deeply in
his pockets, looking Harry squarely in the face.
"The Isle of Shoals must be a dozen miles away by
this time; the Sally is swamped, an' there's nothin'
in the shape of a boat on board."
  "But we can't stay here and be carried out to sea!"
Walter cried in a shrill tone of fear.
  "If you think it's possible to swim back we won't
stay; but I don't know of any other way to get
there !"
  For an instant Walter acted as if he intended to


make the attempt; and, then, as Harry seized his arm
to prevent him from leaping overboard, the poor boy
gave way to the most passionate grief. Ile began
to realize the full consequences of his disobedience,
and could he have been transported to the land just
at that moment, Jessie would have opened her eyes
wide in surprise at the great display of brotherly
  It seemed as if Walter's tears served to restore to
Jim at least a portion of his senses, for he imme-
diately assumed a business-like tone as he said:
  " Now see here, fellers, we're in a scrape of course;
but it won't do any good to give up like this, 'cause
if we try to help ourselves things may turn out all
  " If we can't get back in the Sally I don't see how
we're going to help ourselves very much," and Harry
made every effort to appear brave that Walter might
be cheered.
  "Some vessel will surely heave in sight before
long, an' we can signal to her. The first thing is to
find a flag an' set it half-mast, union-down. Any
craft would try to find out what the matter was
after seein' a thing like that, an' jes' as likely as not
we'll be picked up l)before dark. Then we must get
some of this canvas off of her so she can't sail so
fast, an' when that's done matters won't be so very
bad, for we can keep goin' straight ahead till we
come out somewhere."
  Jim spoke in such a matter-of-fact tone that the
courage of his companions was revived at once.



20            A. RUNAWAY BRIG.

They had not thought of the possibility that a ves-
sel might be sighted; but now it seemed very pr ob-
able, and the two boys set about the proposed task
with hopeful hearts.
  The wind continued to freshen, and in her limp-
i-ug way the Bonita worked slowly but surely sea-
ward with a wide expanse of ocean before her, while
the force on board was hardly sufficient to keep the
helm steady in heavy weather.


                CHAPTER III.
                A SMALL CREW.

 A S THEY searched for the flag-locker Jim did
 A   his best to keep hope alive in the hearts of his
 companions by talking as if it was impossible they
could run many hours longer without meeting some
craft from which assistance could be procured; but
even as lie spoke he knew it would not be strange if
a week, or even more, elapsed before anything larger
than a sea-bird's wing came within their range of
vision, lIe had been in the Mary Walker on the
fishing banks when it was known there were many
vessels in the vicinity, and yet not a sail was seen
for ten days. While the wind held in the same
direction the Bonita would be too far north to sight
any of the coastwise traders, and Jim  was wvell
aware that it might be a long while before they
could summon aid.
  The flag-locker was found after a short search, and
when the stars and stripes were hoisted as a signal
of distress the bright colors appeared to afford
Harry and Walter no slight amount of relief.
  " If a vessel comes within sight that must attract
attention," Harry said hopefully. ' I don't suppose
any captain would pass us by without at least ask-
ing what was the matter."



  "It would be a pretty mean sailor who wouldn't
try to help us," Jim replied ; and then, as the
thought came that it might be many days before
the flag would be seen by any one save themselves,
he added in a voice which was far from steady,
" Now let's try to hoist the Sally inboard. She'll be
knocked to pieces if we tow her, an' there's no
knowin' how soon she may be needed."
  "Tell us what to do and we'll obey orders," Harry
said cheerily. " I'm not sure but we can run this
craft as well as a full crew could, so long as you
know enough to be captain."
  Jim was thoroughly well aware of his own igno-
rance; but no good could be gained by admitting
such a fact, and he began to give commands in a
very loud tone, as if the noise would drive away his
dismal forebodings.
  There was no lack of blocks which could be used,
and by fastening a whip to the Sally's bow she was
soon hauled in over the rail minus her cargo of
  "If we stay here long enough we must calk the
seams," Jim said as he wiped the perspiration from
his face. " It wvon't be a hard job, an' -we may need
her pretty bad."
  "Why not do it now" Walter asked.
  "Because we ouglit to get some of this canvas in
before it blows any hlar(ler; but it would puzzle a
better sailor than I am to know how it's to be done
unless we leave everything loose."
  Neither Harry nor Walter could give any advice,



and Jim was forced to work out the problem un-
  "I'll tell you what it is," he said, after studying
the matter in silence several moments. "It won't
(1o to strip her entirely, for then we couldn't keep
steerage-way on. The jib, foretopsail, and mainsail
won't be more'n enough to steady her, and if the
wind don't come any stronger, I reckon we can take
care of the helm."
  "Do you mean that we're to pull down them big
pieces of canvas " Walter asked in dismay.
  "If I did mean that, it couldn't be done. By
carrying the halyards to one of the winches, though,
we can clew them up after awhile; but it'll be
kinder hard work."
  Then Jim set about the task which at first sight
appeared to be impossible, and, incredible though it
may seem, had before dark stripped the brig of all the
canvas save what he proposed to keep her under
while the weather remained fair. His slight knowl-
edge of seamanship was sufficient to show him how
work should be performed, and with the winch as a
very material aid the huge squares of canvas were
dewed up after rather a clumsy fashion.
  When this had been done Jim went to the helm,
which he lashed in one position when the task of
shortening sail was first begun, and soon the Bonita
was sailing properly dead before the wvind, but in a
lazy manner, as if sulking because deprived of so
many of her white wings.
  " That's a good job well over," he said with a




long-drawn sigh of relief. "Now, if it blows very
hard, we can soon get rid of the mainsail and jib."
  "Where are we heading for " Harry asked, the
severe labor having in a certain measure dulled the
grief in his heart.
  " I don't know-straight across the ocean I
reckon," Jim replied; and then observing that his
companions had noted the look of anxiety on his
face, he added in a lighter tone, "It seems kinder
funnv that we three bovs should be sailin' this craft
like as if she was our own-don't it "
  "I wish we'd never seen her nor the Sally
Walker," Walter cried passionately. " Nobody
knows when we can get back, and our parents will
think we meant to run away !"
  "Now, don't get to feelin' bad ag'in," Jim said
soothingly. "It won't do any good, an' you'll be
jes' so much the worse off. We've got to have sup-
per, an' who'll be cook "
  " I'll do what I can toward it; but I don't believe
I'd know how to make even so much as a cup of
tea," and Harry rose to his feet.
  "Jes' bring up a lot of grub from the pantry;
that'll be enough. To-morrow I'll show you how to
steer, an' take a turn in the galley myself."
  Harry beckoned Walter to follow him; for, if the
truth must be told, lie felt rather nervous about go-
ing into the cabin alone. Now that they were on the
open ocean, at the mercy of wind and wave, the
deserted saloon seemed peopled with things none the
less horrible because unseen. Every inanimate ob-




ject had suddenly taken on a most sinister appear-
ance; and the rusty sword on the floor seemed to
bear witness of the tragedy which had caused a
sound, well-found vessel to be abandoned in such
  Neither of the boys cared to look around the
saloon in which the shadows of night were gather-
ing. They walked swiftly through into the pantrNy,
selected such articles of food as were nearest at
hand, and then went on deck very quickly.
  Jim had lashed the helm again anid was in the
maintop looking seaward in the vain hope of seeing
a sail, and his apparent calmness, together with the
warm breeze, the water sparkling under the rays of
the setting sun, and the regular movement of the
brig as she rose and fell on the swell, served to 1an-
ish the fears caused by that desolate-looking cabin.
  When twilight came, that tinme when homesick-
ness always appears with redoubled violence, the
three involuntary voyagers were eating a meal coIn-
posed chiefly of delicacies, and Jim, understood that
his companions must be prevented from  dwelling
upon their own condition ; therefore, as a means ot
cheering all hands, himself included, lie l)rop)osed1 to
spin a yarn in true sailor fashion.
  From the number of so-called ghost stories which
the crew of the Mary Walker were wont to relate
during their leisure moments he chose the most hor-
rible, and some time before it was concluded lie Un-
(lerstood that he had succeeded in banishing home-
sickness at the expense of an invitation to fear.




Even he himself began to be afraid because of his
own "yarn," when it was told on the deck of a
vessel so mysteriously abandoned as had been the
Bonita, and the sighing of the night-wind through
the rigging sounded very " ghostly " in his ears.
  The three boys huddled close together, neither
speaking above a whisper until after the moon rose,
and then matters began to seem more cheerful. Jim
changed the unpleasant current of thought by specu-
kitting upon the strange sights they might see if it
was possible for them to keep the brig on the same
course until they made land, and by ten o'clock all
hands had so far gained the mastery over fear that
the young captain proposed an arrangement for the
  "We can't stay awake all the time," he said
sagely, "so s'posin' you fellers go below an' turn in.
If the wind dies out much more I'll lash the wheel
an' join you; but if it don't one of you will have to
spell me 'long toward mornin'."
  "I don't care about going below," Walter replied
in a half-whisper. "Why can't we sleep out here
on deck "
  " There's nothin' to prevent it; but you'll be cold
before mornin' if you don't get some blankets from
the cabin."
  Even Harry was timid about venturing into the
saloon since that particularly horrible ghost story had
been told; and very likely Jim understood this fact,
for he said, after a brief pause:
  " If you'll hold the wheel, Walter, an' Ilarry will
come with me, ITll get the bedclothes."




  This proposition was accepted, and a few moments
later a mattress and half a dozen blankets wvere
spread out on the deck aft, the whole forming such
a bed as even less tired boys would not have dce-
  There was yet sufficient food remaining from the
supply brought for sup)per to serve as a lunch in case
any of the party grew   hungry before daylight;
therefore, as Jim said, "they were pretty well fixed
for the night."  The wind was decreasing each
moment, and, regardless of the possibility that it
might spring up again from a different quarter, the
helm, was lashed amidships that all hands might
  "I reckon some of us will wake up if it blows
hard, an' considering that we don't know where
we're goin', it can't make much difference whether
anybody is at the wheel or not."
  The young fisherman laid down as lie ceased
speaking, an(l his comnl)anions, in 1)lissful ignorance
of the possible dantger to be incurred 1)y this unsea-
manlike procee(ling, seeing nothing rash or strange
in thus leaving the brig to care for herself, followed
the example of their commander.
  The )edl wvas hardly as soft as Harry and Walter
had leen accustomed to sleeping on, perhaps; but it
was not uncomfortable, and in a few moments all
three were in dreamland.



                CHAPTER IV.

             A VOICE FROM THE SEA.

T   HIE SMALL crew of the Bonita were weary
     almost to the verge of exhaustion. Excite-
ment an(d grief had fatigued them even more than
the long pull in the Sally ; therefore all three slept
as soundly as if they had been snugly tucked-up in
bed at home, and when the sun came from his bath
in the sea they were yet unconscious that another
day had dawned.
  When Jim, who was the first to awaken, opened
his eyes, he rose suddenly to a sitting posture with a
misty idea that his slumbers had been disturbed by
the sound of a human voice.
  It was several seconds before he fully realized
where he was; but the deserted deck of the brig
and the Sally upturned on the main hatch soon
brought back to his minid all the strange occurrences
of the previous day, after which lie began to specu-
late whether it was in at dream that he heard a low,
feeble hail of "B rig ahoy !"
  Harry an(1 Walter were both asleerp, consequently
neither of them had